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'Mobile' staff a security risk for firms

Monday, December 30 14:48:57

Irish businesses should ensure their employees are aware of the security risks from using multiple devices to protect their sensitive information against hackers.

That's according to RSA, the security division of EMC, the US multinational that employs 3,000 people in Ireland.

"The rise in the number of devices that people use to access IT systems, smartphone apps and social networks can present a security risk for Irish businesses when similar passwords are consistently used, untrusted content is downloaded and employees work within an unsecure environment," said Gerry Murray, EMC's Country Manager in Ireland.

"As businesses provide greater mobile access to critical business applications and sensitive data and consumers increasingly adopt online shopping this new year and mobile banking, it is easy to see that the avenue of attack will become more accessible for today's sophisticated and informed hacker. Internet hackers are increasingly on the prowl for a weak link in online activity, in an effort to steal money and sensitive data, and there is a buoyant market for buying and selling this information online," said Mr Murray.

The world's cyber threat landscape is evolving quickly - and much of that growth is enabled by the spread of social networks and consumerised IT.

So far, the RSA Anti-Fraud Command Centre, based in Israel, has shut down 803,830 cyber attacks.

"Businesses are in a constant state of compromise from new threats that are persistent, dynamic and intelligent and people within organisations are the number one avenue of attack. Education, knowledge and training is essential in understanding the security exposure of the organisation, allowing employees to recognise and mitigate cyber-attacks," Mr Murray said.

According to Art Coviello, Executive Chairman of RSA, the 'insider threat' is an issue that seems to rise and fall like fashion in our collective consciousness.

The 2013 Deloitte EMC cybercrime survey found that 40pc of Irish companies have experienced at least one security breach and the average cost of a cybercrime incident for Irish organisations was E135,000.